Sweet Star Anise Syrup

This vegan waffle topping recipe was inspired by a childhood ritual of making rock candy. It was very sweet, and we created it in a variety of rich flavors. Anise is one of my dad’s favorites, and I’ve come to enjoy it as well. This topping for waffles recipe took me right back there!

Sweet Anise Syrup on Naked Vegan Waffle with Dried Cranberries
Funky star anise and cranberry mandala on a Naked Vegan Waffle. Culinary example of sacred geometry?

For extra coolness, you can put a full piece of star anise in the center of each waffle. It may catalyze some type of funky mandala pattern with other toppings. I enjoyed the way the anise contrasted with the deep red color of dried cranberries.

Sweet Star Anise Syrup on Vegan Waffles
Sweet Star Anise Syrup on Naked Vegan Waffles

It’s pictured on top of the Naked Vegan Waffles from the Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook, and would make a great addition to your waffle party topping and syrup collection.

Sweet Star Anise Syrup on Vegan Waffles

Sweet Star Anise Vegan Waffle Syrup

Dave W.
This waffle syrup is quite sweet, with a hint of vanilla to accompany the anise. It’s best served warm, but as it cools it thickens and forms a glaze, making the waffle reminiscent of a sweet doughnut. Makes about 1 cup.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 4 people
Calories 251 kcal


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground star anise (about 3 stars of anise)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • Grind 3 stars of anise in a coffee or spice grinder, as finely as possible (see note).
  • Combine the sugar, margarine, water, and anise in a small saucepan.
  • Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until margarine is fully melted.
  • Reduce heat to simmer, and stir constantly for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, and add vanilla.
  • Drizzle onto your favorite waffle, and enjoy!


You may still feel occasional tiny pieces of anise, even after the cooking softens it. I didn’t think this was a big deal, but opinions may vary on that. If you prefer, as a substitution you could start with ½ teaspoon of anise extract, added after heating the rest of the mixture, and increase in ¼ teaspoon increments until the anise flavor is the desired strength for you.
Keyword anise, syrup

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